Living Stream Church History
Christ is the creator, founder, and head of the church. Jesus said “I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The story of Living Stream Church began in the year 2000. Several miracles set in place the church as it exists today. The first miracle was when Vitaliy Bondarenko immigrated to America in September of 2000. He moved to Jacksonville, Florida because there was no Slavic church in the city. At the first service Vitaliy prayed, “Lord if it is Your will for us to remain in this city then bless the first service.” Although only 20-30 people gathered that Sunday, God answered Vitaliy’s prayer by sending him hope. The second request Vitaliy prayed was: “Lord if it is Your will for me to be in this church then allow there to be peace and understanding amongst the people without disputes and strife”. And that is exactly what God did. After three weeks, Vitaliy Bondarenko was chosen to Pastor Living Stream Church. At that time, Vitaliy was very weak and could not work extended hours physically. As he and his family began to settle in this new area that God had placed them, a third prayer was spoken from the depths of their hearts. “Lord, You know that we cannot survive in America financially without Your mercy; provide for our basic necessities so that we could serve You.” Three months later, the church consent was to give Vitaliy a salary even though there were only 23 members. In addition to the financial blessing the Bondarenko family received, the Lord renewed and strengthened Vitaliy’s health.
Five years later, there were approximately 200 members in the church. Without the Lord’s sustenance this would not have been possible. Indeed, “The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 125:3. As the church began to grow, the Lord provided faithful deacons and other wonderful people willing to serve. A united team of ministers was crucial for the growth and development of the church. Once again, another miracle was witnessed as brothers and sisters in Christ came together to serve the Lord and His people.
Throughout the years, the Lord blessed Living Stream Church with spiritual bread through the Holy Spirit and many preachers from different parts of the world. In difficult times, God uniquely protected and sheltered the church. In times of trouble, we rest assured that Christ is the good shepherd.
In 2006, Living Stream purchased their own building where today, approximately 400 people gather to worship on Sundays. Approximately 40 different ministries have been organized, serving as a blessing to the church and guests. Perhaps the greatest miracle in the church is the combination of kind, open, and peaceful people, who build the history of the church. Living all of these years together has convinced us: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” Psalm 133:1,3
Even today God has not told us: “Enough”, therefore life continues, and with it our story. Maybe to some these miracles are insignificant, but for us it is God’s mercy in our lives. Pray for us, so the end of our story will be better than the beginning. Furthermore, please pray that our church will be a light and salt to the world; that it would be a city on a hill and a blessing for every single person. That way, when we meet in heaven we may give glory to God for His goodness and mercy!